Senaratne, M. (2017) ‘The Transition from MDGs to SDGs: Rethinking Buzzwords’ In Servaes, J. (ed) Sustainable Development Goals in the Asian Context, Singapore: Springer 

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Abstract of chapter:

While, much like its predecessor, ‘eradicating poverty’ remains the central and overarching narrative of the new development agenda, it looks beyond, affirming renewed and broader emphasis on ‘inequality’ and ‘sustainable development’, and at the same time, drawing attention to a set of ‘transformative’ goals. With the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda that is set to frame development thinking, practice and actions in the next 15 years, this paper draws attention to selected keywords or buzzwords, specifically that of ‘inequality’ and ‘sustainable development’, asking, at a primary level, what do these buzzwords signify? Yet, the paper also aims to look beyond the conventional. While the United Nations texts provide the primary point of analysis, this paper is also strongly influenced by the challenge to include fictional representations of development within wider forms of development knowledge, given their ability to offer new insight and perspectives into development issues. Building on this challenge, at the secondary level, the paper compares and contrasts findings of policy texts with those of popular media in their representation of inequality and issues of sustainability. The paper concludes by identifying what knowledge is revealed about ‘inequality’ and ‘sustainable development’, while emphasising that ‘eradicating poverty’ remains a key connecting and compelling buzzwords. It also highlights ‘transformation’ as an emerging buzzwords, arguing that the term remains open to interpretation.